Sensitization of glioblastoma tumor micro-environment to chemo- and immunotherapy by Galectin-1 intranasal knock-down strategy


  • M. Van Woensel
  • T. Mathivet
  • N. Wauthoz
  • R. Rosière
  • A.D. Garg
  • P. Agostinis
  • V. Mathieu
  • R. Kiss
  • F. Lefranc
  • L. Boon
  • J. Belmans
  • S.W. Van Gool
  • H. Gerhardt
  • K. Amighi
  • S. De Vleeschouwer


  • Scientific Reports


  • Sci Rep 7 (1): 1217


  • In this study, we evaluated the consequences of reducing Galectin-1 (Gal-1) in the tumor micro-environment (TME) of glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), via nose-to-brain transport. Gal-1 is overexpressed in GBM and drives chemo- and immunotherapy resistance. To promote nose-to-brain transport, we designed siRNA targeting Gal-1 (siGal-1) loaded chitosan nanoparticles that silence Gal-1 in the TME. Intranasal siGal-1 delivery induces a remarkable switch in the TME composition, with reduced myeloid suppressor cells and regulatory T cells, and increased CD4+ and CD8+ T cells. Gal-1 knock-down reduces macrophages' polarization switch from M1 (pro-inflammatory) to M2 (anti-inflammatory) during GBM progression. These changes are accompanied by normalization of the tumor vasculature and increased survival for tumor bearing mice. The combination of siGal-1 treatment with temozolomide or immunotherapy (dendritic cell vaccination and PD-1 blocking) displays synergistic effects, increasing the survival of tumor bearing mice. Moreover, we could confirm the role of Gal-1 on lymphocytes in GBM patients by matching the Gal-1 expression and their T cell signatures. These findings indicate that intranasal siGal-1 nanoparticle delivery could be a valuable adjuvant treatment to increase the efficiency of immune-checkpoint blockade and chemotherapy.